8.03.2015

Make a Statement // Happiness Boutique


Moving (and reading THIS book) kind of forces you to purge your closet/ belongings. You can only take so much and it causes you to really evaluate what items you care about. I have found my closet shrinking more and more each day for the last two months. It has become an addiction. I've always been someone who cleans out her closet a few times a year, but this time was different. Almost everything had to go. After the purge was over, I was left with my favorite and most basic pieces. I realized that they are the only ones I really wear... The plain t-shirts, the classic jackets, the shoes I can wear every day. While I enjoy keeping my outfits minimal, I still appreciate an excellent accessory.

I had been wanting a coin necklace like this one from Happiness Boutique for a while, so I was thrilled when I found it! It's one of those items that, even though it's a statement piece, will always be in style. I'm pretty picky when it comes to statement jewelry, I don't really like a lot of "bling". This necklace seems to stand on it's own without the help of jewels and excessive feminine touches.

This bag is another statement item that I am loving! My friend (and now roommate!) Brandi invited me to the Nena & co warehouse sale on Saturday and I knew I had to grab one of these fringe bags. It is such a fun piece with a great story behind it.

necklace- c/o happiness boutique
shirt- asos
jeans- c/o kicks usa
shoes- sven clogs
bag- nena & co

Be sure to check out Happiness Boutique, they have a wide variety of statement jewelry with something for everyone! Whether you're like me and gravitate toward the more simple items or whether you love your glitz and glamour, they have pieces that will satisfy all styles.

7.30.2015

North Beach, Maryland


Now that I am back in Utah and things are starting to settle into place, it's hitting me that I won't be "heading home" to Maryland. It's an odd feeling. Utah is where I'm from and has always been home. But Maryland holds a special place in my heart and it makes me sad to think that that part of my life is in the past. Luckily I still have a few adventures to post about from my time there.

First up is North Beach. I lived just down the street from this quaint little town and it was one of my favorite places to spend my time. Every Friday night, during the warmer months, they have a farmers market; it was something my family and I loved doing. Being outside, walking along the boardwalk, eating their famous kettle corn, being surrounded by colorful shops and local fruit stands; there's almost no better way to spend a Friday evening.

There is a little ice cream shop right on the corner that serves the most delicious coconut ice cream I've ever had. I wish I could have an entire bucket sent to me. We loved pretending to look through the view finders, even though we never actually paid to use them. And on my last visit to the farmers market, we brought my dad. He loved looking at the vintage cars that line the street, every Friday, for car enthusiasts like him to enjoy.

view my outfit post here

Just writing this post put me into a relaxed state. Something about that little town was so calming to me, even if it wasn't the fanciest or the biggest. It was what I needed at that time in my life, and that makes it worth more than all of the ritzy cities in the world.

Have you ever been to Maryland? If you're planning a visit, take a day to explore the coastal towns that line the bay.

7.28.2015

Breakfast Pazookie Recipe // Real Medleys Yogurt Cups

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #QuakerRealMedleys #CollectiveBias

I'm not much of a breakfast food person. I make an effort to eat breakfast everyday, but I usually stick with something really simple. I don't know what it is, but breakfast foods and I just don't like each other, much. But when I heard about the new Quaker® Real Medleys® Yogurt Cups from Walmart, I had to give them a try! I mean, I have had plenty of yogurt in my life, but nothing like this before. Real Medleys is a delicious blend of yogurt and multigrain granola with real fruit and crunchy nuts, it's real ingredients that offer quality and convenience to breakfast. You simply add cold milk to the Real Medleys yogurt cups, stir, and enjoy (Crunchy. Cool. Yum)! However, I wasn't just going to eat them the regular way (although that would have been wonderful since this product is satisfying and delicious), I had other ideas in mind...

Meet your new favorite breakfast food- the Breakfast Pazookie! Yes, you read that right, dessert for breakfast. Can life get any better? Luckily, this recipe is much better for you than the traditional pazookie of cookies and ice cream, but it carries with it the same great taste and marriage of hot and cold. With a homemade granola crust and the delicious Real Medley's Granola & Yogurt Blends on top, you will start your day off right!

*don't mind that I misspelled "pazookie" on the slate board... forgot that pesky "e" on the end. Also, I made some variations to the recipe after taking my pictures. please follow the recipe as I have written it here in the blog post rather than what I had written in the photos.

Ingredients
1 container of Real Medleys Granola & Yogurt Blends
3/4-1 cup COLD Milk (will not activate with warm milk)

1/2 cup Quick Oats
1/4 cup Flour
1/8 cup Sunflower Seeds
1/8 cup chia seeds
*any other seeds or nuts you wish to add
1 egg
1/2 tsp honey
3 tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp brown sugar
sprinkle of cinnamon

Serves 2-3

To start, stir in cold milk with your Real Medleys Granola & Yogurt Blend and let it sit for 2 minutes. You can add more milk later if it seems a bit thick but start with about 3/4 cup. After it has sat, really stir it to get that yogurt texture, making sure to scrape the bottom of the container. Then place the lid back on top and stick it in the fridge to keep it as cold as you can and to allow the yogurt to set.

In a bowl mix your dry ingredients with a fork- oats, flour, spices, nuts & seeds. Once it is well-blended, add the wet ingredients- egg, honey, butter, vanilla, and brown sugar. Stir until well mixed and all of the dry ingredients are coated with the wet.

Press your mixture/ granola into an oven safe dish. Since this recipe is made for two servings, I used a small pie dish, just big enough for two. Then bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until the granola starts to brown.

Remove from the oven and while the granola "cookie" is still hot, top it with the chilled yogurt. The combination of hot and cold and the wonderful flavors will delight your tastebuds!

This was seriously delicious, and so easy to make. I feel like I can still smell it. The Real Medleys Granola and Yogurt Blends come in three flavors- Apple Cinnamon (which is what I used), Raspberry Pecan, and Strawberry Almond. If you want more ways to enjoy this product, you can download the Blippar app from your Apple or Android store to scan your package and receive information tutorials on Quaker® Real Medleys® Yogurt Cups.

Are you going to try this recipe? You really should; it's perfect for breakfast, brunch, or anytime! What is one of your favorite breakfast foods?

7.27.2015

Post Hike Stretches // EAS AdvantEdge

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PowerInProtein #CollectiveBias

There are few things I love more than a great hike. Hiking is my favorite form of exercise, by far, because as a creative individual, I need more stimulation than just running on a paved road or working out in a gym. I love having to watch my footing, climb over rocks, the variation of incline, and the goal of reaching the top of a mountain or some other scenic destination. Hiking offers you a chance to be in nature while simultaneously getting a great workout. Plus, I feel rewarded when at the end of my hike I am greeted by a beautiful view.

To prepare for a hike, or just any day when I know I'll be on my feet a lot, I love to drink EAS AdvantEdge Carb Control (in chocolate, of course) from Walmart. It's a great source of protein which helps to nourish my muscles and prepare them for the workout that is to come. Plus, EAS Advantedge Carb Control helps to manage my hunger; which is perfect when I am planning to be away from any conveniences for a few hours.

Since hiking works muscles in a different way than just walking around town, I often find myself feeling sore afterwards. A good stretch always helps to relax my tired body and it's something I try to do any chance I get. I decided to share my favorite and most simple post hike stretches with you, today! You can modify them to your own flexibility, just make sure you are keeping your form.

Stretch 1- Balancing on one leg, bend your free leg back and grasp with your hand. Slightly push your hips forward (not too much) to get a great stretch in your quads. If you need to use a wall or railing to balance, that is fine. But make sure you are just lightly resting your free hand on the rail rather than relying on it completely. Keep your hips square during this stretch.
Hold for 10-30 seconds then switch legs

Stretch 2- Bending from the hips, reach one arm forward and lightly pull your toes upward. Bend your back leg and sit into it. The further you sit into it the more stretch you will feel. Keep your back flat and your free arm on your hip for balance. You should feel the stretch in your hamstrings and calves.
Hold for 10-30 seconds then switch sides

Stretch 3- Balancing on one leg, bring your free leg up towards your chest. Clasp your hands around your knee and keep your hips square. Roll your ankle then alternate between flexing your foot and pointing your toes. You should feel the stretch in your glutes and it should also help to relieve tension in your ankle and achilles tendon.
Hold for 10-15 seconds then switch sides

Stretch 4- Place your hands on your hips and step forward. Bend your front leg and stretch your back leg straight. Press your hips forward as you do this. You will feel the stretch in your hip flexors as well as your back leg's calf muscles.
Hold for 10-15 seconds

Bend your back leg to increase the stretch, pressing your hips forward as you do this. Be sure to not let your front knee reach over your toes at all. Your knee should be straight up from your ankle, otherwise you will put too much stress on your knee and could cause an injury.
Hold for another 10-15 seconds then switch sides

Stretch 5- Stand with your legs shoulder width apart and aim your toes slightly away from your body. Clasp your hands together behind your back with your palms facing up towards the sky. Slightly stretch them down towards the ground while opening up your shoulders and chest.
Hold for 10-15 seconds

To increase the stretch, bend at the waist and stretch your arms towards the sky. Keep your legs straight and your back flat. You will feel this stretch in your biceps and triceps, shoulders and chest, as well as your hips and your hamstrings.
Hold for 10-30 seconds then slowly roll up.

Next time you plan to take a hike, be sure to grab some EAS AdvantEdge Carb Control for the perfect pre-workout drink. It will help give you the energy you need that will sustain you through your workout. And don't forget to stretch before and after!

What is your favorite form of exercise?

7.24.2015

Indoor Picnic Party // Share Funshine

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ShareFunshine #CollectiveBias
photos for this post are a mix of my own and the lovely Lori Romney Photography

While I miss my East Coast life, so much, being home in Utah has a lot of advantages. One being that all of my friends are here! I have loved having any excuse to see them all as much as I can, they're probably getting sick of me, already. But I wanted to gather a few of my closest friends for a simple yet fun girls night, whether they're tired of me or not.

I had beautiful plans to do this party outside on a picnic table under the trees. But then, the day of the party, a big thunder storm rolled through. With only a couple hours until the party, I was scrambling to figure out a plan B. As I was going through our linen closet, I found this beautiful, sheer fabric and decided that an indoor picnic under a fort would do the trick! So I tied it all up, added some lights and comfortable pillows, and breathed a huge sigh of relief as the guests (and their dogs) started to arrive.

To feed my guests I decided that individually packed lunch boxes would be fun and unique. I wrapped up turkey sandwiches, made individual bags of chips, and little bowls of cherries. To drink I made some lemon and sage water and we also had some Dr Pepper® chilling (in case any of us needed something a little stronger. haha). For dessert I had SNICKERS® Ice Cream Bars and M&M's® Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches, as well as little baskets of Skittles® and Starburst® Original to snack on. And of course, I couldn't forget about our canine friends, I knew they'd be wanting some party food, too. So I served them some delicious (or so they tell me) Pedigree Dentastix® Original Flavor dog treats. They loved them and had to, eventually, be cut off. 

I have loved "Sharing Funshine" with my friends and I know you will too! You can enter to win a $100 Walmart gift card, everyday, by clicking on the image, below. Also, be sure to download the Blippar app from your Apple or Android store to scan your package and receive exclusive content.
Share a Little Funshine Sweepstakes
***

Inside each of the girls lunch boxes I packed a little something extra. What's a party without a party favor, after all? To go along with my candy and M&M's® theme, I decided to use M&M's® originals (with a little bit of other M&M's® variety mixed in) packaged in the cutest party favor that they can easily take with them and save for a later date. 

To start you will need:
paper- regular or card stock will work
glue and/ or tape
thread to match
a sewing machine

Directions:
cut your paper into quarters then roll into a cylinder and glue or tape the ends together. It should look like an empty toilette paper roll at this point.
press one end of the cylinder together and sew it shut. Nothing fancy. This can be done by hand or with a sewing machine.
fill the favor with M&M's® and leave about 3/4 of an inch at the top.
sew the other end shut the OPPOSITE way you sewed the first. This way it makes a triangle/ prism shape.

It takes only a few minutes but looks like you spent a lot of time and energy into making your party perfect. You can do this without sewing and just tape or glue the ends shut. But I like the added detail of the thread. Either way, your guests will be so impressed and feel extra special.

My party, even though there were some bumps in the road, turned out so fun and relaxed, just like I had hoped it would. We had a great time chatting the night away and snacking on delicious food like M&M's®, SNICKERS® Ice Cream Bars, and Pedigree Dentastix® Original Flavor (dogs only, of course), all of which I was able to purchase at my local Walmart.

Do you have any fun parties coming up? I hope this post sparked some creative ideas, if you do!
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